If I was given the right, I would love nothing more than to burn studio Bee Train to the fucking ground. I would grab the CEO by the collar and punch him in the fucking face, I would bitchslap the animators, cockslap the directors, and cut the throats of the storyboarders. I would laugh with joy as the building crumbled to ash, and then I would piss on the ground where it stood. If given the right, of course.
Everyone has anime that they don’t like. Or perhaps elements of anime that they don’t like. Maybe you don’t like tsundere characters, or maybe you specifically don’t like the anime Escaflowne (I am, of course, making personal examples.) But over time, you may overcome this dislike. Maybe at first, you’ll say ‘man, I really hate tsundere characters’, but then, over time, you start to notice that you like a few of them. And then you start to notice that it’s less that you hate tsundere, and more that there are certain tsundere characters whom you dislike. And maybe even then, you’ll start to realize that you don’t hate them that much.
Or maybe when you first finish Escaflowne, you’ll be really pissed at the way it turned out, and hate it. However, as time passes, and you get over the initial rage of the ending, you start to endear it a little more, and don’t mind the ending so much, and maybe come to like it. I’ve seen this happen a lot with people, where they say they dislike something, which they’ve been saying they disliked for a long time, and then realize after a few quick examples that maybe they don’t hate it so much.
Over the years, a lot of things have pissed me off in anime, and a lot of it, I’ve come to forgive. I don’t really mind that Shana wasn’t great, I still like it. I don’t really mind as much that Strawberry Panic is a cheap knockoff of Marimite, that’s no reason to hate it. If I take something like Eden of the East, which bothered me with the hype it was getting, then I’m probably going to forgive and forget before too long and come to like the show.
And I think a lot of the really anal anime fans out there who seem to hate everything are just being stubborn. I’m sure that if they weren’t so stuck up with their heads in their asses about the things they dislike, they’d stop being so silly about them. Get over your knee jerk reaction to moe, or your pride against all things immature, and maybe you’ll find out that you can enjoy a lot more than you’ve been allowing yourself to. Contrary to popular belief, being able to like things that aren’t “great” doesn’t mean you have bad taste, it’s what you don’t like that truly governs that.
But even if we push past all of the stuck up pricks who won’t like anything, we are still going to find that everyone has some things that they simply cannot like. Yeah, there are obvious cases out there like Ninja Ressurection, Kai Doh Maru, or Dragonaut that no one likes for good reason, but there are also shows out there that you will find yourself completely unable to like in spite of the fact that there are good facets to the show. In a lot of cases, it may even be that it’s a show you really felt you should have enjoyed, but couldn’t bring yourself to no matter how hard you tried for various other reasons.
These shows are the bane of someone like me’s existence. I want to find something to like in everything. I want to believe that if you look at a show with an open mind, and really try, you can find a reason to enjoy it. And I’ll say now, there are such things as bad shows, like some I listed above, but I think that if enough people like a show, it’s not truly bad. It’s just not for you. As I said in my post on not watching shows that weren’t meant for you, I think that if a show has a following, then it has appeal, and therefor isn’t bad, it just isn’t meant for the people who don’t find those things appealing. And in such a case, I may admit, ‘this show is good, though I don’t like it’ and try to enjoy it for what it is.
But sometimes, I can’t. I can’t accept it. I can’t believe that this show is good. I am filled with such rage on a personal level that I am physically incapable of appreciating a show. And I think we all have these shows that we hate, even if we aren’t open about it. Even if we just say ‘yeah, I didn’t like it’ and then don’t talk about it, it’s still there, and you still can’t like it. Like a terrible itch. I can’t remember which shows they were, but I’ve even seen Shiroth (dubbed ‘Mr. Sunshine’ for his inability to hate shows) hate a show that others like, and once or twice, I saw TheBigN do the same. In spite of both being Gainax Fanboys, Ghostlightning can’t like FLCL and Anime Kritik doesn’t like Gurren Lagann. Maybe these aren’t examples of pure, unbridled rage, but I know that in cases like GL, he’s tried to watch FLCL 4 times and could never find what to like about it.
Everyone has an anime ‘Personal Rage Machine’, be it a show, a company, a concept, or what have you. Something you just couldn’t bring yourself to like no matter how you tried. It’s not something that just kind of bothers you or can lower your enjoyment a bit (like what happens to me when characters call each other’s names back and forth too many times), but something that you truly and utterly cannot appreciate.
For me, it’s Bee Train. The studio behind such ‘greats’ as Noir, Madlax, El Cazador de la Bruja, Avenger, Murder Princess, Phantom ~Requiem~, and the entire .hack series, though that series is a bit different from the others, and doesn’t really conjure my wrath. Bee Train shows are, for the most part, always the same goddamn thing, and it’s a thing that really, really ought to be right up my alley.
First of all, the shows always involve girls with guns, which I love. Secondly, they always try to include a thick visual style, which I usually love. Thirdly, there is almost always a yuri element to the series, which I also love. Lets throw in tons of fights, great Yuki Kajiura soundtracks (.hack//sign still has one of my top 5 OSTs), and plenty of modern urban settings for shootouts to take place. If you told me you were making a show with all of these elements, I’d hump your fucking leg, but the sad truth is that it almost always means this is a Bee Train show.
I cannot like Bee Train. They are impossible. Their animation takes as many shortcuts as humanly possible to the point that they have created a brand of ‘anti-excitement’ in animation. From what I’ve read, the studio is where newbie animators start off before they go farther, and it shows like crazy. I’ve also heard that the staff gets drunk when they write the shows, and that makes sense to, because the writing and plots in their shows suck balls and are as cliche as humanly possible. The characters never have any personality, and their development goes absolutely nowhere until near the end of the show. Plus all of the shows have the same fucking plot over and over again.
The action scenes never make any damn sense, which isn’t helped by them infrequently even animating the goddamn bullets or the impact of them on people. The tactics used in battles are utter shit, too. Plus the hack-ass directors idea of ‘visual style’ is random frame discoloration of flipping the camera upside down or sideways once or twice an episode. Sooooo creative. And don’t even get me started on episode 6 of El Cazador. My. God. (Oh, and I almost forgot to mention what they did to Blade of the Immortal. Ugh.)
I’ve tried really hard to like Bee Train. I watched 7 episodes of Noir, 6 episodes of El Cazador de la Bruja, 2 episodes of Murder Princess, and the first episodes of Avenger and Phantom, the latter to hilarious results. Every single time, I thought ‘this is really something I want to like’, but I couldn’t, I simply couldn’t. Instead, I raged. I raged at Bee Train and everyone who supports them enough to keep them around, and anyone who dares to enjoy their shows.
So I have a question: do you have a Personal Rage Machine? Something that you can’t like, not because of your pride or becuase you are a petty bitch, but something you really felt you should have liked, but couldn’t?